by JULIA RODRIGUEZ
The 70 year long streak of being execution free for Georgia has just been wiped away by jurisdiction. Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 47, was convicted in a February 1997 murder plot that targeted her husband in suburban Atlanta. Now she is forced to pay the ultimate price while breaking this record.
Kelly Gissendaner is the first woman to be executed in the state since Baker in 1945. Only 15 women have been executed in the United States since 1977, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. This is an astonishing amount of numbers; however, justice is something taken very seriously by the United States.
Gissendaner was sentenced for plotting murder against her husband. She was having an affair with Gregory Owen and the two plotted to have her husband, Douglas Gissendaner, killed according to court testimony. Owen wanted Kelly Gissendaner to file for a divorce, but she was concerned that her husband would “not leave her alone if she simply divorced him,” court documents said. How much of this is true, of course, we will never know.
It is tragic, yet justified in the eyes of the law, that the streak for executed women be broken. Does the punishment match the crime? That depends on an individual’s morals, backstory, experience and so forth. The death penalty is something that has been debated since its distribution, however, its existence is impossible to ignore and that is one thing that can not be debated.